Tourism Malaysia senior director of domestic and events Dato’ Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar appeared on the 7th episode of Miss Malaysia Kebaya’s Weekly Talk Show 2020 on October 28 and called for industry players to explore opportunities for public-private sector collaboration focussing on domestic tourism as the way forward to beat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organised by Miss Malaysia Kebaya (MMK), the topic of the talk show was “Private sectors working hand in hand with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) and its agencies,” conducted via videoconferencing app Zoom and broadcast live on Selangor Fashion Week Facebook.

Ammar said the Covid-19 pandemic had severely impacted the tourism sector and will need four years to recover fully as predicted by the Economic Action Council (EAC).

“This is where the challenge is. We have to do something about it to ensure that we do not have to wait for four years for recovery but the things that are within our control, it’s definitely something we can do about it.

“We have to put hope on that and work hard. We do not want to wait that long to fully recover. Therefore, there are a lot of things to be done, and that is what Tourism Malaysia is doing as well,” Ammar told host Dr Jason Hee, founder of MMK, Selangor Fashion Week and MFMP Awards.

During the talk show, Ammar used presentation slides to illustrate the topic and the relevance, such as domestic recovery strategy, issues and challenges, opportunity by adopting new normal and reach out offerings from Tourism Malaysia.

He said the ministry had put in place recovery initiatives similar to neighbouring countries to stimulate and boost up domestic tourism.

“But the current situation lockdown affecting Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya has affected very much the proactive initiatives which have been put on hold but nevertheless we should never give up.

“The way forward is harnessing public and private sector partnership to promote travel within the country, and this is what we wish we should be doing and we are looking very much on this.”

Ammar thanked Miss Malaysia Kebaya (MMK) and its president/founder Dr Jason Hee for the effort taken in promoting Malaysia as a fashion, culture and tourism destination through numerous events, from physical to virtual, organised by MMK such as Selangor Fashion Week and The Next Look.

“This is a good effort. These are the things we are very much looking forward to. And as you know, fashion and tourism are inseparable. That’s something that needs to work hand in hand and this is where we are talking about collaboration with private sector. Definitely through fashion we can promote tourism and that’s something we can’t deny. We can surely do a lot of things.

“Fashion unite people, promote the uniqueness of the country and bring Malaysia to the world so we are looking very much on our way forward to work together and to see how we can leverage more on fashion in promoting Malaysia.

“Come to us if you have something to propose or to highlight about, fashion for example, and we will give you the platform for you to see how it goes and if there’s anything we can do to collaborate for the betterment of the domestic tourism industry,” Ammar continued. 

“We can discuss further working together with private sector industry players who are interested to join our platform. You are also welcome to market your product/package/deals through our website at, or get in touch with us using our toll-free number at 1300 88 5050.”

On the show, Hee said MMK was heading in the right direction with Tourism Malaysia, and industry players and leaders were prepared to work harder creating innovative ideas collectively and collaborating with Tourism Malaysia to overcome the pandemic and boost domestic tourism.

“MMK have the same attitude and mindset. We think positive, being creative and innovative, and as business people especially now, we accept and adapt to the new challenge or the new normal.

“As one of the strategic partners of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), we will put in more effort to work hand in hand with the industry leaders for the good of the nation.”

At the end of the show, Hee asked Ammar what advice he’d like to give to the private sector industry players.

“My advice would be to not lose hope, be strong. This is really a challenge but some disasters also provide a window of opportunity for the better. So, look at the opportunities, what we can do with this current situation and how to move on from there. Never give up for this time and bring back your creativity.

“Sometimes tough situations will give better experience for us to move on. Let’s move together and let’s work together as a team as what we used to be for the betterment of the domestic tourism industry.”

The advice from Ammar was sound enough, and that was definitely a plus.

The virtual Weekly Talk Show which debuted on July 29, 2020 was developed by host Dr Jason Hee during the pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) which do not allow large-scale gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The objective of the talk show is to bring MMK partners, industry leaders, experts, NGOs and government agencies together to share their experience, knowledge and to discuss and voice their concerns; and advising on the problem and providing a solution

The program features the personalities in their respective industries and covers interesting content such as fashion, pageantry, modelling and segments focusing on important issues such as relating to SMEs, and more.

Topics that had appeared prior to 7th episode were “How to Showcase Yourself with Design” (live-streamed on 26th August), “SME Moving Forward Into a New Era” (21th August), “Moving Forward into a New Era – Legal & Accounting” (12th August), “My Pageantry Journey with Miss Malaysia Kebaya” (7th August), “Moving Forward into a New Era -Modelling & Beauty” (4th August) and “The Story and Journey of Miss Malaysia Kebaya” (29th July).

Miss Malaysia Kebaya (MMK) was awarded the Malaysia Tourism Council Gold Award 2019 for Best Malaysian Cultural Event on 25th October 2019.